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Prurigo is a difficult to treat condition characterized by severe pruritus presenting with chronic secondary scratch lesions. We report here a dramatic improvement in pruritus in a patient with prurigo simplex who was being treated with bevacizumab, a monoclonal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antibody. On the basis of the increased VEGF expression measured in the skin of this patient, serum levels of VEGF were subsequently analysed in 27 consecutive patients with prurigo and 19 healthy controls. VEGF levels were significantly increased in the serum of patients with prurigo. Moreover, VEGF concentrations correlated with physician-assessed disease activity. Based on these observations, we speculate that VEGF is involved in the pathophysiology of prurigo.

Original publication

DOI

10.2340/00015555-1445

Type

Journal article

Journal

Acta Derm Venereol

Publication Date

27/03/2013

Volume

93

Pages

175 - 179

Keywords

Aged, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized, Antipruritics, Bevacizumab, Biomarkers, Biopsy, Case-Control Studies, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prospective Studies, Prurigo, Pruritus, Severity of Illness Index, Skin, Treatment Outcome, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A